My Thoughts On Meeting With a CEO

~ 7 Minute Read

As I’ve explained in a previous post, most of my days are spent on my computer either at my house or at “the office” (local cafe).  When I open my computer at “the office” most people there probably think I’m another student studying up for their next exam, not an entrepreneur who should have total revenues for 2017 in the range of $300-$350k.  And honestly I’m glad that I’m able to remain relatively anonymous, in my own little world.

But the truth is that one of the biggest benefits of starting a business is that it often allows you to connect with other business leaders in your local community, and recently I was able to meet with the CEO of a local multi-million dollar manufacturing business that also focuses on acquiring and building out startups.

Wait, How Did This Happen?

A little backstory about why I was meeting with the CEO. The project itself actually comes from a health and wellness curriculum that my business partner, who also happens to be a physician, has created over the course of a decade.  It literally is a 12 step program to help you make better eating decisions so that you are able to make long-term changes to your health and weight.  We’ve been discussing about ways to market this program and it is looking like we will be able to go into this together and hopefully have success.

In the meantime my physician friend has reached out to get input from other local businessmen about how to proceed with the project, one of whom was the aforementioned CEO.  The CEO mentioned to my business partner/physician that he wanted to me and before I knew it I was in his office discussing ideas.

When I arrived I was greeted by the front office assistant who was friendly.  Shortly there after the CEO came out to greet me.  He was a trademark CEO: tall, handsome, charismatic, and had about a 20% chance of being a psychopath.

During the meeting I explained how I got started in business and how I knew my business partner.  I also discussed four distinct ways in which I would like to market the health and wellness curriculum that my business partner has created.

For those interested, here are the ways I think we should sell the health and wellness program:

  1. Direct online sales
  2. Partner with physicians to setup a referral network where doctors get paid for each participant they refer to the program
  3. Sell to corporations as part of a health and wellness program to help them lower health care costs by keeping their employees healthy
  4. Sell to churches and communities in a DVD package

All of which had the CEO interested and feeling that any one of these strategies could work with the right implementation.

Overall, the CEO was generous and attentive as I discussed my ideas up to this point.  The meeting lasted about a half an hour.

From the meeting I’ve made some observations in case you find yourself in a similar situation.  Here are my three biggest tips to use when meeting with a business leader.

Be Prepared

Before the meeting I wrote down my ideas for the health and wellness program, as well as my history in business.  This allowed me to have talking points to validate the program and show myself to be an authority on web marketing.

By spending about 15 minutes on preparation I felt way better about having the meeting.

Be Cool, Man

Yeah, it can be overwhelming to talk to someone who has been as successful at this CEO has been.  But the truth is that he is just a human being.  He has fears, joys, frustrations, and happiness in his life.  Don’t ever feel like you are beneath (or above) anyone and you’ll be fine.

Share Your Ideas

There is this fear that many people have about sharing their business ideas with others.  Many of us worry that our ideas will be stolen and someone else will get the glory (and money) from our idea.  This fear is unwarranted most of the time.

In this meeting I shared everything I could think of in terms of selling this health and wellness curriculum.  From my perspective this CEO would do one of two things: either offer valuable feedback on my ideas, or try to acquire the curriculum and hire my business partner and I as employees at his company with the sole purpose of building and marketing this program.  Neither one of these scenarios is bad.

I don’t think the CEO would be willing to put together another 200 page health and wellness curriculum and sell it himself.

Whether he does or not, I’ll still be that guy with the decaf green tea studying for his next exam at “the office”.

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